Dubai's New Metro Opens

A new rail system has opened in Dubai, becoming the world's longest fully automated, driverless metro system. But some wonder whether the system will see much use in the oil-rich Emirate.
September 11, 2009, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"On Wednesday, at 9:09 p.m. on the ninth day of the ninth month of 2009, the first train went into service on the brand new Dubai Metro. The opening of the Burj Dubai, which will be the tallest building in the world and which was originally supposed to open on the same day, has been postponed until December. 'This way the bells can be rung twice,' Bernhard Solleder, a German banker in Dubai, speculates.

...The Red Line runs for 52 kilometers, it has 29 stations and separate compartments for first class passengers and for women. It also has wireless Internet service on every train. But most significantly, it only took 30,000 workers four years to finish the world's 'longest fully-automated, driverless metro system.'"

But with gas at 25 cents per liter and just 10 of the proposed 29 stations on this first rail line open, some question whether the idea of rail transit is even a worthwhile option in the formerly booming desert city.

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Published on Thursday, September 10, 2009 in Der Spiegel
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